solid state amplifiers

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Torque Amps has its origins in a buisness started by Jim Edgeworth in the early seventies in Darlington, UK. Edgeworth built the forerunners of the current TORQUE range of amplification in small quantities in his retail shop. Success of the first products led to an approach by a major UK national distributor who commissioned a range of amplifiers under their own brand name. This first major contract initiated the formation of the Edgeworth Electronics Limited  company in 1978 and a move to a 2,000 sq. ft. workshop on the Chilton industrial estate. Within a couple of years they purchased a 5,000 sq. ft. factory in Darlington, but the deep recession of the the early eighties caused tremendous difficulties in the UK music trade and forced their sole customer to cancel all of their orders. This forced a widening of the customer base and they were soon supplying several UK distributors with products designed specifically for them and the company began to grow.


Timberidge is an acoustic guitar brand owned by Jade MC Australia musical instrument wholesale. The Timberidge range is focused on acoustic and classical guitars, but they also offer amplifiers and accessories. Typically the guitars are made in China and distributed in Australia.

Source: Timberidge website (12 February 2021)


Synsonics was a musical instrument brand established in 1975 in Savannah, Georgia by Fred Gretsch. By the 1980s Synsonics were shipping thousand of orders a day to J. C. Penney, Service Merchandise, Sears, and many other businesses. In the 1985 Fred bought back the Gretsch brand from Baldwin.

Source: Synsonics website (archived 2001)


Simms-Watts was a British amplifier brand founded in 1968 by David Simms and Richard Watts. David Simms ran a music shop in Ealing where Richard Watts also worked as technical director. Terry Marshall (son of Jim Marshall) also joined Simms-Watts in 1968. Simms-Watts launched a range of high quality instrument and PA amplifiers in 1969 and these were used by the likes of Mick Ronson and John Entwistle. In 1972 the company was bought by EMI Sound and Vision and produced amplifiers for a few more years during the 1970s - moving to solid state circuits to save production costs.

Source: Voodoo Guitar -  Oddball British Hi-Fi: Sound City & Simms-Watts Amps  (15 September 2020)

SG Systems

SG Systems was a division of the Chicago Musical Instrument Company (CMI). They made a range of guitar and bass amplifiers in the 1970s which combined tube power amp circuits with solid state preamps. They also made PA systems.

Source: SG Systems catalogs 1973 - 1975


Schafer guitars, basses and amplifiers were made in Japan (and later Korea) from the 1960s onwards. The brand may have been owned by Schafer and Sons  -  a piano company established in 1955 by Vern Schafer in Colton, California.


Stephan Schertler founded his company in the 1986 specialising in audio transducers. Scherler was a double bass player who was inspired to made his own amplification system due to the lack of suitable equipment. By 2000 there were 10 people working in the company and they had developed a range of transducers as well as loudspeakers and amplifiers. Schertler entered the Pro Audio world in 2016 with a new analog modular mixer. There were Schertler guitars made from around 2006 and designed by Claudio Pagelli. The vision was to create a smaller sized electro-acoustic guitar for the stage, equipped with a reference quality Schertler Dual Source pickup system.

Source: Schertler website (27 July, 2020)

Source: Schertler guitars website (archived 2012)


Strad-O-Lin was a budget American mandolin brand from the 1920s onwards. These Strad-O-Lin mandolins were made by various factories. The brand was aquired by Multivox in the 1950s who used the Strad-O-Lin brand name for electric, acoustic and bass guitars and amplifiers. The brand was still active in the early 1980s - as simply Stradolin, but presumably ended when Multivox ceased trading in 1984.

Source: Stradolin catalogs 1970s to 1980s.


Dime Amplification is a brand founded by Dean Guitars and Dimebag Darrell’s estate. The brand was founded to make a new amp (the D100) that would recreate Dimebag Darrell’s signature solid-state snarl, and they enlisted the help of Grady Champion and Gary Sunda. Champion was Dime’s guitar tech of 13 years, and Sunda was the designer of Dime’s original and favorite amp.


RockJam is a budget electric guitar and amplifier brand, made in China. Circa 2020 these were sold in the UK by Argos shops and online at Amazon-  as a £99 starter kit including amplifier and strap.


Denis Cornell founded Cornell Custom Amplification in 1991. Denis Cornell has built repaired, serviced and custom designed amplification systems for many years. (Sound City's groundbreaking MKIII / IV amp's were co-designed by by Denis along with Brian Hucker)  Over the years Denis has helped design amps for many of today's big brand amp manufacturers. As a freelance consultant Denis Cornell has sorted complex technical problems and helped Fender Europe with new designs. Denis has been called upon to help major companies grow and launch their products and had a key role in Arbiter Group's London facility in designing products for them.


Rondo Music is an American owned and operated musical instrument distributor, founded in 1959. Rondo Music sells a variety of musical instruments including electric guitars, acoustic guitars, guitar amps, banjos, and other stringed instruments. Currently their main focus is on their SX Guitars, Agile Guitars, Douglas Guitars, Hadean Guitars, Sprite Guitars, Omega Guitars, Brice Basses, and CNB Cases. The instruments are imported from a variety of countries including China, Taiwan, and Korea (and in the past from Sweden & Italy).

Rok Axe

Rok Axe guitars and basses were made from 1995 until around 2007 these were affordable instruments. The Rok Axe brand was owned by Music Industries Corporation of Garden City, New York (who also owned Jay Turser and Prime). The Rok Axe USA Performer series instruments were made in Korea.


Rodie was a brand name of Edd Mandell Enterprises, Inc. of Danbury,  Connecticut. The company lasted from 1976 to 1980 and the Rodie range included electric guitars and basses (made in Japan) as well as solid state amplifiers.


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